On Upham and Pass-a-Grille beaches, you can get eggs or beer, depending on the time of day, courtesy of Paradise Sweets LLC, the company that, with the city’s blessing, runs the two concession stands on the sand as “Paradise Grill”
With the lease for the concession expiring this at the end of May, Paradise Sweets asked for an extension of the lease.
“We’ve been perfect tenants,” co-owner Rita Janecek said. “We’ve done what we said we were going to do.”
Mayor Steve McFarlin opened the discussion by asking if the city wanted to continue to allow Paradise Grill to sell beer and wine.
“The beer and wine thing is really kind of minimal,” District Four Commissioner Melinda Pletcher said. She added that the city needed to enhance the bathroom facilities.
“The facility, to me, in the morning after a walk, is a complete respite,” Vice Mayor Lorraine Huhn said of the Paradise Grill on Pass-a-Grille. Vice Mayor Huhn walks Pass-a-Grille beach in the morning. “If there needs to be some tweaking, tweaking can begin.”
“I think going to the grills is more indicative of who we are,” District Two Commissioner Jim Parent said, comparing the beach concession to the Don CeSar restaurants.
Paradise Sweets co-owner Michael Janecek told the commission they had plans to upgrade the restrooms, but couldn’t add additional restrooms to the facility.
Ms. Janecek said she thought perhaps the city should build more restrooms on the Pass-a-Grille location.
City Manager Mike Bonfield pointed out that Pass-a-Grille has about 1,000 spots that stay filled in season, and that Pass-a-Grille had public bathrooms only in Hurley Park as well as the facilities at the Pass-a-Grille concession stand. At that location, Paradise Sweets has two urinals and a toilet on the men’s side and three stalls in the ladies room.
After a protracted discussion about weekend events, weddings, alcohol consumption, and bathrooms, the commission voted to renew the lease with stipulations.
The new lease will stipulate that Paradise Grill must close no later than 30 minutes after sunset, the owners will renovate the bathrooms, and special events will take place Friday through Sunday only. Every year the rent will increase by three percent or in line with the consumer price index.
Currently, Paradise Sweets pays just over $130,000 annually in rent and concession rentals. Paradise Sweets maintains the buildings.
The new lease will take effect June 1.